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For Technology Decision-Making, Who's in Charge?

It used to be that the people who bought technology and equipment for contact centers were professionals in the art of running those centers -- they were people with some kind of direct telecom or operations experience. Those days are long gone. Now, important decisions are made by teams of people from different disciplines within an organization. The contact center practitioner is indeed one of the people on that team, but he or she is no longer the only voice in the room when important tools like call routing engines, analytics and reporting, and even workforce management are evaluated.

The question of who is in charge of these purchasing decisions is slippery, because no two companies (and no two technology spends) are the same. Unique circumstances come into play each time. But we do know that there are increasingly varied stakeholders in the outcome of those decisions. Interested parties now include IT managers, marketing and finance executives, line of business managers, and other constituents who have serious stakes in how contact centers use their tools.

And not only are they more interested in the outcome, but the technologies used in centers today are much more entwined with systems used elsewhere in the organization. Data is shared by different systems in different departments, and it travels over unified communications networks that tie siloed organizations together. Even if organizations are slow to realize it, their contact centers are in fact much more thickly tied to the rest of the enterprise than in the past.

With the landscape changing so quickly, it bears looking at who those various stakeholders are. From the point of view of the contact center executive, the more you know about the fundamental interests of your colleagues around the decision table, the better you'll be able to look out for your own...

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